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tv   NBC Nightly News  NBC  May 5, 2013 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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area "news at 5":00. >> "nbc nightly news" is next. more local news at 6:00. night air strikes the escalating crisis in syria as israel launches another attack creating a wider conflict and greater challenge for president obama and the united states. wedding tragedy. five women are killed including a bride to be when their limo burst in to flames. tonight the surge for what went so terribly wrong. crossing the line. some advertisers want your money so badly it seems they will do just about anything to get your attention. how far is too far? and super dogs. after the boston bombings, a look at some new recruits in the fight against terrorism. dogs trained in blending in to crowds and sniff out explosives. ♪
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from nbc news world headquarters in new york, this is nbc "nightly news with lester holt." >> good evening. tonight israel is on alert and bracing for possible retaliation after its forces apparently struck targets inside syria for two nights in a row. the iermly military officially isn't talking, but all israeli warplanes going after what officials believe were weapons shipments bound for hezbollah fighters in lebanon. the attacks thrust israel smack in the middle of syria's civil war, putting pressure on the assad government and maybe pressure on the obama administration to intervene in syria, as well. we've got it all covered for you tonight. our chief correspondent richard engel is across the border in turkey. richard, good evening.
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good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. israel hasn't acknowledged the raid in damascus, but u.s. officials say it was the israelis and they're not denying it. war makes for some pretty strange bedfellows. many syrian rebels welcomed the attack, even if it was from a most unlikely source. an israeli air strike against their common enemy, president bashar al assad's regime. 2:00 a.m. in damascus, an activist filmed the attack in secret saying god is great as the israeli bombs fell. more than a dozen targets were hit, shock waves felt a cross the city. a syrian rebel in damascus told us by skype, even though the raid was from israel, syria's decades-old foe it lifted the opposition's spirit. syrian state tv quickly blamed israel for the attack close to
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assad's palace. and helping the rebels they call terrorists. the missiles were bound for hezbollah, the military group that operates over the northern boarder in lebanon. >> israel said it would not allow what it calls game-changing weapons to be transferred from iran via syria to hezbollah in lebanon and then used against israel. by that, they mean things like chemicalen weapons, land to--sea missiles like this sam-17 ground to air missiles that would limit the ability to fly freely over the skies in lebanon. >> reporter: it's the third strike in syria attributed to israel this year. israeli analysts expect there maybe more. >> as much as israel would get accurate intelligence about such game-changing weapons coming in to the area, israel will probably act in order to prevent it, in order to defend itself. >> reporter: bracing for retaliation, israel deployed its
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iron dome missile defense system around the northern cities. but no immediate reprisals came. the israeli military also closed civilian air space in northern israel. another precaution in cases of retaliation from syria or hezbollah. lester? >> richard, thank you. this latest reported attack on syria by israel adds another layer of complexity to the obama administration as it considers its next move in this crisis. nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell has more on this. hi, andrea. >> reporter: the u.s. was not surprised or at all caught off on guard. israel was using american-made weapons and likely had u.s. intelligence help to plan the targets. president obama supports the right for israel to defend itself from what could be game-changing weapons.
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>> the israelis justifiably have to guard against the transfer of the advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like hezbollah. we coordinate closely with the israelis, recognizing that they are very close to syria. they are close to lebanon. hezbollah has repeatedly said they would be willing to attack as far as tel aviv. so the israelis have to be vigilant and they have to be concerned. we will continue to coordinate with israel. >> reporter: israel's military strikes have silent support from many arab countries who have been arming the anti-assad rebellion but they are helping assad hold on to power. according to officials the administration is moving to arming rebel factions themselves, factions vetted by the cia for links to radical islam cysts, this complicates
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secretary of state kerry's trip to moscow this week as he tries to get him to stop propping up assad. we turn to the war the u.s. is trying to exit after almost 12 years, afghanistan. one of the single deadliest days in recent months for american troops. we have a report from kabul with the latest. >> reporter: good evening, lester. the violence here is escalating as the taliban taliban spring offensive gets underway. on saturday, eight nato service members were killed in three incidents. seven were american, one german. five americans were killed by a road side bomb in the maiwand district in kandahar. and in farah two more americans were killed in an insider attack. an afghan soldier turned his weapon on his trainers. the taliban claimed responsible for those shootings. so far this year, there have been five of the so-called green on blue attacks.
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such attacks became a deadly trend last year, killing 62. the majority of which were americans. lester? >> thank you. here in the country, investigators trying to figure out what went wrong on a bridge near san francisco last night when a limousine caught fire killing five women including a bride to be. we get the story from nbc's diana. >> reporter: by the time the driver said he smelled smoke and stopped the flames had begun to consume the vehicle. >> there were ten people in the vehicle, the driver and nine women possibly in their 30s. >> the limo was transporting them to a bridal shower. the bride to be died in the fire along with four others. the san jose mercury news said the bodies were so badly burned the victims will be identified by dental records. authorities say they were picked up in oakland on saturday night. the limo burst in to flames while crossing the san mateo
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bridge. investigators say they don't believe it was the result of a collision. >> we will be looking at the safety of the vehicle to see if it had any prior inspections that they normally have, as well as depending on where the fire started, fire department will be looking in to if there was something that happened inside the vehicle. >> reporter: the owner of the limo, limo stop released this statement. we are deeply saddened by the tragedy last night involving the young women. five of whom lost their lives in the limousine fire on the san ma tay coe owe bridge. limo stop incorporate ld do everything possible to investigate and assist authorities in determining the cause of the fire. four women managed to get out of the vehicle and are being treated for smoke inhalation. the driver escaped unharmed. nbc news, los angeles. now to southern california where fire crews have the upper hand battling several wildfires that have charred the coastal
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mountains. nbc's miguel aiguel is there. >> cool moist weather helped crews to get 60% control of the fire. there's no immediate threat to homes. today there were no visible signs of flames 44 square miles across southern california is now a moonscape. scorched land stretches for miles. crews mopped up hot spots with fire activity at a minimal level. the so-called springs fire exploded out of control on thursday fanned by those whipping winds, fuelled by bone-dry brush. the fire has swept across nearly 30,000 acres. air and ground attacks provided large protection for subdivisions. only 15 homes were partially damaged. tonight, much of southern california remains a tinderbox. in banning, california, 50 acres have been charred. here full containment of the fire is expected by tomorrow. we could see light rain tonight. that's help for firefighters who have still on the front lines
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tonight. leather? >> thank you very much. to the fight over guns now and the nra already turning its attention to the 2014 elections. its message to members at the group's annual convention this week, keep fighting for your second amendment rights. gabe gutierrez has more. >> reporter: deep in texas a call to arms. >> we will never surrender our guns, never. >> reporter: now claiming a record 5 million members, the nra is taking aim at the 2014 mid-term election and its main opponents. >> president obama. >> president obama. >> barack obama. >> mayor bloomberg. >> michael bloomberg. >> reporter: weeks after a victory in congress over expanded background checks. >> we must never confuse winning a battle with winning the war. >> reporter: for the first time the group is linking the gun control debate to the aftermath of the boston bombings. >> how many bostonians wish they had a gun two weeks ago?
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>> reporter: across the country gun sales are surging but at this weekend's convention the nra framed the debate and stretched beyond guns to a larger culture war. >> this is a fight for the future of freedom. >> reporter: outside the convention, and in washington, gun control advocates are promising their own fight. in an op-ed this weekend, the vice president wrote this wasn't the end at all. it was the turning point. >> the national rifle association can go to texas and celebrate defeating that measure but they shouldn't celebrate when they look at the carnage that takes place virtually every day in america because convicted felons have guns. >> reporter: xena zhan yell was shot and killed by her estranged husband. her brother is an nra member himself. >> if you have nothing to hide there's nothing wrong with a background check. >> reporter: they are show showcasing the youngest life member here. >> hi. >> reporter: it's clear the fight over guns is far from over. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, houston. the u.s. military released
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photos this weekend that show how it is dealing with hunger-striking inmates locked up at a guantanamo bay, cuba. the detainees began the strike three months ago to protest their long confinement without trial. >> reporter: the new photos show the chair where hunger striking detainees are strapped. a tube inserted through their noses and they are force fed ensure, a nutritional supplement. 23 are force fed in what defense lawyer calls an agonizing procedure. >> when that tube goes up your nose. your eyes begin to water. as it passes through the back of your skull and your throat, you begin to gag and you begin to suck for air. >> reporter: the military says the force feeding is a legally approved procedure, followed by the u.s. bureau of prisons. president obama last week vowed to renew his efforts to shut the
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prison down. >> the idea that we would still maintain forever a group of individuals who have not been tried, that is contrary to who we are. >> reporter: a top republican said today the white house is yet to detail what it would do with the detainees. >> the fact is there has been no coherent plan presented to the congress. >> reporter: when nbc news visited the prison last year, military officials showed how detainees were living in communal quarters, sharing meals and exercising. but last year the prij privileges were revoked. >> monitoring them closer we are able to prevent that from happening. >> reporter: tonight almost all of guantanamo is in lockdown just as it was when the prison opened 11 years ago. nbc news, washington. when nbc "nightly news" continues on this sunday, we will bring you the latest on the boston bombings investigation
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and a look at the special dogs that could help future attacks of that type.
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frau. farah. on the investigation of t boston marathon bombings. nbc news has learned that authorities are trying to determine whether the suspects assembled the bombs in their apartments. nbc's katie tur is in cambridge, massachusetts. katie? >> reporter: lester federal investigators showed backup to tamerlan tsarnaev's house. neighbors say they carried out a whole lot of boxes, and as you
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said, they're looking for any evidence of bomb making. from a search in the woods outside of umass dartmouth, to the cambridge apartment of tamerlan tsarnaev, a law enforcement source tells nbc news agents are looking for any signs of where the brothers built or tested their explosives. in worcester, protests outside of the graham putny mahoney funeral parlor. four cemeteries have refused to bare the alleged bomber. >> we have to bury this guy. whatever it is whoever is he is. in this country we bury people. we can't separate sins from sinners. i can't pick and choose. >> tamerlan's parents have said they would prefer their son's body be buried in the u.s. today his uncle explained why. >> he lived in america. he grew up here, and the last ten years and he resided in cambridge. >> back in boston, an emotional
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by jeff bowman at the bruins game. the bombing survivor waved the flag as a sell-out home crowd cheered him on. tomorrow morning lawyers for filippo will ask a federal judge to release him. he is an american citizen and not a flight risk and not a threat to the public. he along with two other college friends of dzhokhar tsarnaev were arrested in relation to the investigation after the attacks. he is accused of lying to investigators. lester, his lawyers deny that. >> katie tur in cambridge, massachusetts. thank you. when we come back, a matter of taste. when advertising goes from cutting edge to what some see as crossing the line.
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branding, as we know, is big business and tonight pepsico has severed its ties with the rapper lil' wayne over a controversial song he's recorded about the civil rights icon emmett till. earlier this week, pepsico pulled an internet ad which left many wondering about the line between art and commerce. here's nbc's kevin tibbles. >> reporter: from the moment this ad for mountain dew hit the internet, criticism poured in. >> i don't think i can do this! >> reporter: so much criticism, mountain dew's parent company pepsico quickly had it pulled. >> what was it saying? black, thuggish men victimizing a white woman. is that what pepsi is saying that mountain dew stands for? >> the ad features a woman made up to appear as if she's been
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assaulted along with members of an alternative hip-hop group in a police lineup. it was produced by popular rapper and video producer tyler the creator. >> the risk here when you try to borrow some of the cultural relevance from someone who is controversial is that they push it a little too far, push it beyond the boundaries of what a brand is comfortable with. >> in this case, some members of the public became very uncomfortable. one calmed it arkably -- arguably the most racist commercial in history. >> another tweeted i lost respect for pepsi and mountain dew today. wow. in an interview a mountain dew spokesperson wrote, we apologize for this video and take full responsibility. we have removed it from all mountain dew channels and tyler is removing it from his channels, as well. mountain dew isn't the only one back peddling. in recent weeks, general motors apologized for the song in this ad which some believed mocked those of chinese origin, and hyundai pulled this one which seemed to parody suicide, but in
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the battle for consumers who see anywhere from 250 to 500 ads per day, companies are willing to push the envelope. >> the challenge for them is to try to be provocative without offending people. >> as for the man who made the mountain dew ad, tyler the creator's organization said it was an admittedly absurd story that was never meant to be taken seriously. and that the artist, absolutely never intended to start a controversy about race. >> i can't do this! >> kevin tibbles, nbc news, chicago. we have more to tell you about tonight, including super dogs that could prevent future terror attacks.
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finally tonight, a visit with some very special dogs. they're trained at an early age to blend into large crowds and sniff out danger. here's nbc's jill rappaport. >> come on, buddy! >> reporter: just your typical day for anything but your typical dog. >> good boy! >> reporter: meet the newest weapon against explosive threats. the detection canine. >> vapor weight dogs are a valuable aid to search moving forward if we want to meet this domestic threat head on. >> reporter: these super dogs with stellar snouts can detect a threatening scent the length of a football field and long after a person passes through a crowd. people who pose no threat shown
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here with the yellow, green and blue-toned plumes give an all-clear when the dog's nose goes up, but when a threatening paper wake is detected shown as the red plume, the dog follows it directly to the source and sits as witnessed with the program's volunteer. >> they fit well into crowds and that's where we want these dogs to be able to operate. >> reporter: do you feel if vapor weight dogs were present in boston they would have made a difference? >> absolutely. 100%. teams were deployed when those boerms had passed, i believe the vapor weight dogs would have detected them. >> with the help of canine, the college of veterinary medicine operates the program. they select and train these dog, currently deployed in airports and train stations around the country. and the trainers claim these canines will be a game changer in the fight against terrorism. >> vapor weight dogs' career begins at birth. this current litter of students
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are only three weeks old, and this is their socialization phase with a little snoozing thrown in. at seven weeks old their detection careers kick in. >> you usually think of labrador as being a field dog or being the most popular pet in america and they're the dogs that are actually very much on the front lines of protecting the public. >> jill rappaport, nbc news, aniston, alabama. and that's nbc "nightly news" for this sunday. brian williams will be here tomorrow. i'm lester holt reporting from nonch for a nbc news, good night. i knew there were a lot of tech jobs available out there.
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right now at 6:00, searching for answers after a night on the town ends in tragedy. a limo catches fire on a bay area bridge. tonight five women are dead, one of them a bride to be. >> first just into our newsroom we have new information on a shooting at a mcdond's on the peninsula that left several people injured including a child. good evening. i'm diane dwyer. >> i'm terry mcsweeney. in east palo alto police are looking for at least one gunman after a shooting outside mcdonald's. the shooting happened just before 3:00 this afternoon outside the mcdonald's on university avenue. police say six people were hurt including a 6-year-old girl and her grandmother.